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A month after Republican Glenn Youngkin won the Virginia governor's race, there has been nary a peep about "voter fraud" or "election fraud" in that state. It's like playing poker with your opponent's cards lying flat on the table — they've shown their hand.

Donald Trump and his ilk know exactly what they're doing: sowing distrust in our local, state, and national elections allowing those who do not like the results to go above the will of the voters and try to change them. It was seen plain as day in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.

Days before Trump declared that in swing states — where he feared he would lose — he wanted the courts to fight it out, regardless of the vote tallies. "We’re going to go in the night of, as soon as that election is over, we’re going in with our lawyers,” Trump said to reporters. After the election there were hordes outside polling places yelling "count the votes" at polling places that showed Trump lagging, and "stop the count" at facilities where they continued to count mail-in and absentee ballots that appeared to be swinging to Joe Biden.

In the year since, Donald Trump and his cronies have used every means at their disposal to encourage this ridiculous notion that there was rampant voter fraud, and that that voter fraud will continue though his own administration stated it was the "most secure in history." Dozens and dozens of court cases have been thrown out (many by Trump-appointed federal judges), every ballot recount or "forensic audit" has shown nearly the same result, and only a handful of voter fraud cases have actually been identified (several of them Republicans casting multiple ballots).

Seeing that Trump is succeeding in sowing his distrust — recent polling has shown a majority of Republicans don't think their vote will be accurately counted in future elections — state legislatures throughout the country are trying to take over elections by removing non-partisan election boards or the powers of the Secretary of State.

Owing to that, plus heavily gerrymandered districts, according to the New York Times: “Republican state lawmakers have either created supermajorities capable of overriding a governor’s veto or whittled down competitive districts so significantly that Republicans’ advantage is virtually impenetrable — leaving voters in narrowly divided states powerless to change the leadership of their legislatures.”

All of this and more are being done in the name of voter fraud that doesn't exist. In this country every vote counts and the will of the people needs to be heard. The losing side can't reverse course just because they don't like the outcome. But I guess we will soon stop hearing about election integrity, as Virginia went off without a hitch.

Rachel Cleveland